Recommendations for gardening in a very wet area #817043

Asked November 29, 2022, 3:45 PM EST

I bought my home in Warrenton in April. The back yard was wet but didn't have the standing water like it has now. I was told by a neighbor that the previous owners had put in some type of drainage but I haven't been able to locate one. Other than the one raised bed, the yard is covered with a combination of grass and creeping buttercup. As the yard is large, I would like to remove some of the grass and have an area for native and natural plants. I have thought about putting in more raised beds, but wonder if you have other ideas that wouldn't be too expensive. Also, what plants can survive in an area with poor drainage?

Clatsop County Oregon

Expert Response

Hi Pam and thanks for your great description of a wet yard that needs some ideas. Yes, put in all the raised beds you want. They are known for good drainage, probably why they are so popular in Oregon!

You can fill the pathways between with arborist chips to cut down on the mud and if you put them deep enough they should help control the grass and buttercups. In our area they can be had for free from I don't know about Clatsop county, but it's worth a try. Or you can contact some local arborists and see what they do with their chips.

You also may want to consider a rain garden to deal with some of your water. I'll attach a booklet with more information than you could ever want, but skim through to see if the idea appeals and then talk to your local nursery or landscape company to see if they have ideas.

And finally, there is a great guide to native plants that has a key to how much water they need as well as what pollinators they attract, how much sun they need and what types of birds they attract. It was written for the Willamette Valley, but will work for Clatsop county as well.
Have fun experimenting with your new yard!
Rhonda Frick-Wright Replied December 01, 2022, 12:19 AM EST

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